The “skeleton” version of Team Möbius was leaner than ever this past week here at Naval Yachts as we are down to just two part time workers onboard Möbius this past week. However, along with Christine and myself and our Dynamic Duo of Nihat and Uğur we all put in a very full week and they made great progress in finishing all the “hotworks” of welding up the Tender.
So this will be another shortened version of these Weekly Progress Updates but I’m delighted to share all I have with you.
I will leave the largest progress on the Tender for the end this week and so let’s jump in first to what did get done this week on the Interior of Möbius thanks to the couple of days that our Sparky Hilmi and our Hardware guru Serkan were onboard.
I’ve received a lot of comments and questions (thanks!) about these bits of boat jewellery that masquerade as our eXtremely solid latches on all our cabinet doors and drawers and we like them more every time we see them and start to use them.
For those who have not seen these latches before they are solid 316 SS and work simply with a light one finger lift like this.
When you add up all the drawers and doors in both cabins, the Galley, the Corridor Office and the Salon we have a LOT so Serkan has been a busy boy getting these all done.
It might sound as simple as “drill a hole and thread the latch body in place” but it is actually very eXacting and finicky work to get the holes in just the right location so the latch mechanism lines up. Adding to the challenge all the Rosewood doors and drawer fronts have already been finished and polished so drilling these holes without any splintering or pull outs takes some finesse. But Serkan is appropriately OCD when it comes to the quality of his work and hey now as almost all the latches installed but for a few in the Master Cabin.
Such as these two drawers underneath Christine’s Office Desk.
These ones in the Galley Drawers,
Galley Garage doors,
I hope to be able to show you all the latches in the Master Cabin in next week’s Progress Update.
Up at the Main Helm, Serkan and Hilmi worked together to mount the em-trak Class A AIS I mentioned last week.
It is the rectangular screen you see here in the upper Right corner of the Black leather ceiling overtop of the Main Helm.
Another example of those “how hard can this be?” jobs as there are a lot of different cables that Hilmi had to run from a lot of different locations on the boat with the AIS antennae being up on the Main Arch, the dedicated AIS GPS head up on the front Port side of the Pilot House, data cables going to the N2K system and +/- 24V cables to power the whole thing.
Serkan then needed to put the hole for all these cables in the Black leather covered removable ceiling panel overhead of the Main Helm and then attach the holding bracket that the em-trak AIS unit attaches to.
Positioned for clear viewing whether seated or standing at the Helm and the whole unit can also pivot and tilt so we can orient it to keep an eye on when eating at the Dinette Table or in the Galley.
Since we first started installing them, I have also received a lot of questions and comments about the Deck Hatches I designed and we built in house here at Naval Yachts. Boat owners, especially those of us doing long passages, typically have a love/hate kind of relationship with Deck hatches. Just Love all the light and fresh air they bring in BUT they almost all start leaking relatively early in their life.
Of course, Mr. Murphy ensures that when they do leak, that water will always land in the most annoying spots such as in your face as you sleep, soaking your bed or seats or dripping onto electronic gear. Ask me how I know??!!!!
Therefor, one of our priorities when we were designing Möbius was to make sure that we had eXtremely Leak Proof Hatches! After many months of research and sketching, this is the design I came up with in my favorite 3D modeling program, Fusion 360.
These two section views shows some of the key features to ensure these stay fully waterproof with large self draining gutters around the flush mounted 15mm glass lids and edge seals around the inner frames.
I spent a LOT of time searching for the Goldilocks edge seals and finally found them at Trim-Lok in the USA which makes the seals for many automotive manufacturers and other industries. Trim-Lok has a great site that allows you to custom design your own seals with an interactive “Hatch Seal Product Builder” where you chose details such as thickness of the “edge” the seals will attach to which in our case is the 8mm thick upper vertical edge of the aluminium inner hatch frames. Then you chose which side, A, C or E you want the “bulb” part of the EPDM rubber seal to attach to and the width or “leg length” of the grippy rubber U-section you want.
I designed these Inner Frame of the Hatches and then the Trim-Lok Hatch Seals such that as you close the Hatch Lid, the upper rubber bulb part of the seal is compressed to the Trim-Lok specifications for the just right and maximum sealing.
Once you have your seal all designed you just specify things like colour, type of rubber and how many linear feet you want and they ship it to you all coiled up in a box. It is always a treat when I can work directly with the manufacturer and it was a great experience working with Trim-Lok to design and build the Goldilocks Hatch Seals for Möbius.
This is what those Trim-Lok seals look like in the real world aboard Möbius. Pretty self explanatory; the deck surface is on the far Left here and then you can see the deep Gutter formed by the Outer AL Frame and one of the two drain holes in the bottom.
Christine and I spent some time last week doing a test fit installation of the Trim-Lok seals on this one hatch up in the ceiling of the “doghouse” overtop the entryway into the Workshop off of the Swim Platform. 3D modeling and custom Hatch Seal Builder tools are great but they are still all theoretical so we were anxious for this real world fitting.
Fortunately the seals and the hatches worked even better than we had hoped. The “squish” was just right both for maximum sealing as well as the just right about of resistance as you lock or “dog” the hatch handles down.
Just to up the challenge, I added some other requirements for this design such a having their glass tops be flush with the AL decks so they are no edges laying in wait to bite your toes as you walk around on deck usually in bare feet. Perhaps even more importantly, no edges to snag lines and ropes.
However the #1 feature attracting me to Flush Hatches is that when you take on big waves breaking over the bow or sides, flush hatches have no edge for this deluge of water to press against the seals as it all runs straight overtop.
And If I’m going to have no protrusions of the Hatch Lids, then surely I had to also get rid of the Hinges right? So the renders above and on the Left show how I made the hinges disappear when the Hatches are closed.
Recently I completed what I felt was the Goldilocks design for the latches and handles for these 10 Deck Hatches and had them all CNC milled from billets of solid aluminium I had on hand.
Hand sketching is my preferred method of thinking through a design and coming up with lots of alternative ways of meeting my design goals.
These are two of my early sketches for the Hatch Handles and Latching system that I ended up with.
Once I have the basic design details worked out in my sketches I then move over to Autodesk’s Fusion 360 ** to work out the precise details and end up with a fully developed 3D model that can then talk to the CNC milling machine to make them.
** Full Disclosure, I was privileged to work for Autodesk Inc. for over 25 years so I may be a wee bit biased but I continue to be amazed at what all they have been able to pack into Fusion 360 and yet keep it so amazingly easy and powerful to use.
I’ve removed the Handle here to show how the round Upper Boss is bolted to the 10mm thick CNC cut Hatch Lid which the 15mm Glass will soon be glued to. The Purple part below is the 20mm thick Latch Block or Plate where the “nose” of the Handle slides under to pull the Lid closed.
I’ve made all the parts somewhat transparent in this quick render to give you a bit of X-Ray vision to see how all the various features such as the Handles, Lid and Hinges all work together. Click this or any blog image to enlarge it for a closer look.
Here’s what one of those Hatch Handles looks like over in the real world. That Latch Block on the Right has two threaded holes on the back side where it is through bolted by two SS Hex-Head bolts going through the Inner Frame.
First test fitting of a pair of Hatch Handles.
This is how the Handles are oriented in their Closed position.
And this is where the Handles sit in the Open position.
The smallest three of the ten Deck Hatches are 450mm / 18” square and their width is too small for the two Handles to fit when you move them to the Open position. My KISS solution was to make one of the Handles a mirror image of the other like this so their ends can overlap and yet still give you the full size handle to close. Worked out very well.
As you can see from this design, getting those round Handle Bosses bolted to the Lids in the exact right position is quite critical to them working properly so after a bit of pondering here is the technique I came up with to mount all 20 Bosses.
First lay out the exact center of the Boss and Handles with some calipers and a center punch to position the point of the drill bit.
Drill and Tap that hole and thread a length of an M8 – 1.0 threaded rod through it.
Then thread the AL Boss onto the rod and tighten the rod to hold it in the correct alignment for drilling the four bolt holes.
Getting those four holes all drilled in just the right spot was the critical part of this challenge and the fun trick I came up with was to use the CNC machined AL Bosses as their own drilling jigs. Once I had them tightened up with that center through bolt, I then made up a little “pipe” that had the outside diameter to fit snuggly inside the four holes in the Bosses and then used a drill bit that was the same size as the inside diameter of the SS pipe.
A bit time consuming with 80 holes to drill and tap but t worked like a charm and I just repeated this process for all 20 Bosses.
One of the 650mm square Hatches is underneath the circular staircase going up to the SkyBridge so it was a bit more challenging to get at but it too was soon all drilled.
With the holes drilled in just the right locations it was straightforward to tap each hole with M6 threads
Put a bit of Loctite on each SS bolt and torque them down just right and they were soon all done.
Next challenge is to get all 20 of these rectangular Latch Blocks bolted in precisely the right spot on the Inner Frames and I’m hoping to get to that next week so stay tuned.
At the opposite end of the progress spectrum, Uğur and Nihat put in a very full and very hot week working on the Tender to Möbius and I’ll do as I have been in previous posts and show you their progress with a rapid fire series of photos and a bi of text along the way.
With the “Mickey Mouse” opening in the 20mm thick Transom Plate all cut out we wanted to do another test fitting of the Castoldi 224DD jet drive and then mark the centers of all the holes around both the rectangular frame on the bottom and the Transom.
I also needed to check that the two hydraulic cylinders that mount through Mickey’s ears had the right amount of clearance so I climbed inside the Tender, cylinder in hand while the boys lowered the Castoldi into place above me.
Perfect fit on the inside.
And the outside at this critical 93 degree angled corner between the bottom of the hull and the Transom.
Centers of all the holes laid out before removing the Castoldi, center punched each one and it was quick and easy to drill all the holes in this Frame and the Transom.
Christine keeps remarking that she can’t get over how bit our “dinghy” is to which I reply, “Look Up!” Looks pretty small now don’t you think?
With the Castoldi jet drive all fitted and holes all drilled and all the bottom welding finished, it was time to flip the hull back right side up again.
And get to work putting in the rest of the CNC cut 6mm AL plate.
Engine Beds now all welded in and the inner walls of the hull getting tacked in place.
Time to assemble the Swim Platform which doesn’t take them too long.
A quick test fit and Uğur welds it all up.
This is going to be a great platform that will make snorkeling and Scuba diving SO much easier than from a RIB as well as making rear boarding very easy.
However the primary purpose of the Swim Platform is to protect the Jet Drive bucket and nozzle from docks and rocks at the rear and it will do an eXcellent job of this too.
Starboard side Console shaping up nicely as well.
As is the platform of the seats behind.
Test fitting the tacked up Lid over the Engine Bay. It will be hinged at that forward seam and lift up with the assistance of two gas spring lift cylinders like the rear hatch of an SUV.
Nihat opens up the forward 100L fuel tank that will provide an access port for cleaning and servicing.
Inner frame for the access port tacked in place.
Uğur was now able to get inside to finish welding this fuel tank from the inside to fully seal it off from the two side “tanks” which we will most likely use for additional dry storage rather than fuel.
Holes drilled and tapped, gasket made up and in place.
Uğur the Ninja Welder soon had the dashboard all welded up and bolted the SS piano hinge in place.
We used the same edge seals as for the Hatches you saw above around the circumference of the hinged dashboard to keep it all weathertight. Once I get to fitting out our Tender I’ll add some latches for this Dashboard, the Engine Lid and other access hatches throughout the Tender but that is much further down the priority list right now.
Et Voila! The Center Console is pretty much all welded up.
Ever the productive one, Uğur spent a bit of time in the machine shop and whipped up these two hinges that he will weld on next week to the Engine Lid.
So stay tuned for next week’s episode of “How the Tender Turns”
I spent quite a few hours with Mr. Gee this past week and while not too visible yet, got lots done in terms of the mounting some of the critical equipment he will be powering such as the two 250A @ 24V Electrodyne “Big Red” alternators one of which you can see here in the upper Left corner. That one will mount to a beefy bracket I designed this past week that will bolt to the flat horizontal pad you can see above it on Mr. Gee’s front Left corner.
I also spent a few hours setting the camshaft timing and the valve clearances. This photo is showing the simple process of setting the clearance between the ends of the valve stems and the rocker arms using a 0.008” for the Exhaust valves and 0.004” for the Intakes.
And in case you were wondering what the “Bling” in this week’s title was referring to, I spent a few minutes on the polishing wheel to see how well these little access port covers on the two cylinder heads would polish up. Still very crude as I need to spend much more time prepping those surfaces, but I think this will add a Goldilocks nice touch of class to Mr. Gee to great you as you enter the Engine Room!
And that folks, is the week that was September 14-19, 2020 here in Antalya Turkey aboard the good ship Möbius.
Thank you SO much for joining me and even more thanks for posting your questions and comments in the “Join the Discussion” box below.
Ciao for now,
thanks for the excellent write-up on the hatch system. truly WOW.
Glad you enjoyed it Richard, sorry it took me so long to get posted.
I am very envious of your hatches. Wow.
Thanks Wade & Diane. However the jury will still be out for me until we get some real world testing with fire hoses and some good Turkish downpours! And hope you two will be able to come over to see it all for yourself soon.
Everything you do is great, but I especially enjoy your superb engineering ideas (e.g. your hatches) and also everything about Mr. Gee. Gorgeous diesel dahling.
Thanks JZ. Glad you are enjoying the ride so far.
It is always easy to look good when you surround yourself with quality such as our Gardner 6LXB. Just trying to do him proud and give him another lease on the next 50+ years of uninterrupted service.
Can;t wait to see some water on the hull!! 🙂
That would make THREE of us Elton!
I’m having a hard time believing those hatches will keep the ocean out. If inverted the top hatch will be under 5 meters of water. I imagine the peak/dynamic pressure at the bow can be even greater, when burying the bow.
Was it calculated or tested? Am I missing something?
Thanks for the thoughtful comment and question Virgulino. I don’t know that you are “missing” anything and I don’t have a definitive answer as to what would happen if we were to do a full 360 roll. I did spend a lot of time researching this and consulting with engineering experts as well as several companies who specialize in designing and building heavy duty marine hatches and doors for passagemaking boats as well as the seal company that I worked with to design these rubber edge seals specifically for hatches and our boat. I have not been able to do any real world testing of these hatches and do not have the capacity to fully simulate the water pressures during a full capsize and roll, however based on the simulations and testing I have done, I believe that these hatches and seals will stand up very well to such a roll situation. I am NOT saying that these hatches would not leak at all during in such a situation, but the design and construction of both the aluminium hatches themselves and the seals is such that if any water did get forced through the seals would stay intact and at the very least limit the amount of water entering during the short time they would be submersed.
I also had some good conversations with two boat builders who build boats that they market and certify to be self righting similar to our XPM78-01 Möbius. Elling Yachts for example produced a video of doing a full 360 roll over test on their Elling E4 which you might have fun watching. I have been aboard quite a few Elling boats and spent a bit of time with their engineers exploring the many factors involved in building a self righting boat and IMHO the hatches and seals we have designed and built are stronger and able to take more hydrodynamic pressure than the ones they are using, hence my optimism with our hatches and self righting capabilities.
Hopefully we never do get to do a full 360 roll test but do stay tuned to this blog for the tests of the hatches and all the other components on Möbius which I will be doing after we launch.
Thanks for your reply, Wayne. I think I do know what I’m missing: any relevant experience in boat building, or sailing, for that matter.
Anyhow, I just balked at the idea that a pliable rubber hose squished just 25% was up to the water pressure, without a catastrophic failure.
The hatches themselves sure look strong, and elegant to boot. I’m curious to see how they perform in freezing temperatures.
I was aware of the E4 capsize test, thanks. Bold and impressive, although I don’t know how realistic it was.
Thanks for your very valuable blog, and for keeping me dreaming.
I like the details of your hatches, if they leak it a drop I would be surprised as long as they are dogged down tight. The tender is coming along nicely, looking forward to seeing her all fitted out.
I’m really looking forward to testing out both the hatches and the tender so stay tuned for all that once we launch.
The hatches look very robust but the one thing that bugs me is that I haven’t been able to see in cad or in pictures if the hinge pins are removable or not.
Basically, are the hatches removable? And since ordering a replacement would be difficult, are you building spares?
Hi Mathieu, sorry for not providing renders and photos that show how the hatch hinges work. Short answer is that YES the AL/Glass lids are removable by simply sliding the SS hinge pins out of the hinge. The hinge is basically formed by an AL box or pocket that is an integral welded in part of the hatch frame which is in turn welded into the deck. Then there is a solid AL hinge arm that is an integral part of the AL/Glass Hatch Lid and the two machined sides of this hinge arm are a close sliding fit with the sides of AL box/pocket when the Hatch Lid slides into place. Then a 10mm OD SS pin is a close fit through the holes in the box/pocket and the Hinge Arm with a nylock nut on one side to retain the Hinge Pin. To remove the Hatch Lid you “just” need to undo this nut and slide the Hinge Pin out sideways and remove the Hatch Lid. There are a few hatches where the access to these pins is less than ideal but I’ve Re & Re’d each one to make sure it can be done.
If you have the time to go back and look at the renderings of these hatches in several posts over the past few months I think you will be able to now see how these hinge pins work but let me know if you still have questions.
As to carrying spare hatches, the team did fabricate two extra hatches and frames and I may take one along with us. However there are three different size hatches so I probably won’t do this. The hatches were all build here in house from my design and 3D models so I have all those with me and other than some catastrophic accident that damaged the AL frame or lid of the hatch the only part I could see needing to be replaced would be the laminated glass tops or the seals and booth of these are easily replaced anywhere.
Hope that helps and don’t hesitate if you have more questions.